Ranchi: Ranchi Rays are raring to take on Kalinga Lancers at home in the third edition of the Hockey India League (HIL) at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium here Friday.
The Rays will look to exact revenge after losing the tournament opener in Bhubaneswar to the Lancers 3-6. All eyes will be on skipper Ashley Jackson, who scored two amazing goals in the previous clash.
Support from Mandeep Singh, Nicolas Wilson and Trent Mitton in the forward line will be crucial. Meanwhile, Kothajit Singh, Manpreet Singh, Austin Smith and Barry Middleton in the midfield and Birendra Lakra and Justin Reid-Ross in defence makes for a solid Rays line-up.
On the other side, having played five matches, the Lancers have won one and lost the other four. They will look to attack from the start and are well aware that the Rays can take the game away from them if they falter.
With the likes of captain Vickram Kanth, who was awarded Man-of-the-Match in the opener, the team will be looking at repeating the feat of the last encounter. There will be huge expectations from drag-flicker Gonzalo Peillat as he is expected to run the extra mile, displaying his defending skills.
“We are upbeat post our victory against Uttar Pradesh Wizards and want to continue this momentum. We are confident and are flexible in all kinds of team combinations. We cannot take the match lightly and have to keep their defence under pressure,” Jackson said.
Jackson's Lancers' counterpart, Vickram Kanth added: “We are not happy with the results till now but are quite motivated that we will make it to the top-4. We have been improving match-by-match and are in good spirit."